There was an old episode of The Larry Sanders Show that aired right during the peak of the O.J. Simpson murder trial hysteria. And in the episode, Hank Kingsley (as played by the brilliant Jeffery Tambor) tells the rest of the staff that he thinks O.J., his neighbor, is innocent of murder. Why? Because he was always a great guest on Larry’s show, and he always kept his lawn clean. “People have forgotten the real victims of this crime,” Hank moans. “I live on Rockingham and my property values have just gone right in the toilet.”
That brings us to world’s greatest quarterback and most perfectly vapid Californian, Tom Brady. Last week, our Barry Petchesky offered up a cool hundred dollars to the first reporter to ask Tom Brady about presidential candidate and spasming poop derrick Donald Trump, specifically Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims coming into (or back to) the United States. Barry was making this offer because he believes that Tom Brady’s tepid endorsement of Trump has a real and legitimate impact in normalizing Trump’s radical and blitheringly stupid proposals.
I don’t agree! I don’t think there’s a person on the face of the fucking Earth who’s gonna vote for someone based on an endorsement from ol’ Dreamboat here. Not even your average Trump voter is that stupid. I just supported the bounty because I like watching Brady squirm.
And ohhhhhh, did he ever! When WEEI hosts Kirk Minihane, Gerry Callahan, and Gary Tanguay asked Brady about Trump, here’s what Brady said:
Can I just stay out of this debate? Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me — for the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that thought was really cool. That came along with winning the Super Bowl. He’s always invited me to play golf. I’ve always enjoyed his company. I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible business man and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s a pretty different career path. I think that is pretty remarkable.
He actually kinda SOUNDED like Trump when he said all this, which made it all the more amusing. Later on, Brady gritted his way through two press conference questions about Trump before fleeing the podium in horror.
All of this has exposed Brady not as a political extremist or some secret xenophobe, but as a marvelous dumbshit. I bet if you cut Tom Brady’s head open, you’d find a bunch of old marbles and play sheets inside. Like any dumb actor, Brady seems to prize his ability to hobnob with other famous people more than he prizes anything else. Every acquaintance is a dear friend because every acquaintance is useful. If Brady ever golfed with O.J., he probably would have declared him innocent just in case O.J. got off and was throwing a Christmas party later that year.
You can see this in the original locker room chat that got Brady into all this trouble in the first place. Brady had a Trump hat sitting in his locker for a fucking WEEK before someone asked him about it. The ensuing, brief moment when Brady said it would be “great” if Trump ever became President was part of a blithe, joking exchange with reporters that Brady surely thought would amount to nothing at all.
There is nothing going on in this man’s head. Image via Patricia Vargo/Youtube
It was the kind of thoughtless praise that doubles as currency in Los Angeles. Who the fuck even knows if he really MEANT it. He might loathe Trump’s candidacy. And yet, for seemingly little personal gain, he put that hat on public display, and he remains oddly and consistently loyal to Trump for appearance’s sake. Finding out the reason WHY, on its own, merits all this delightful questioning.
Probably it just irritates the shit out of Brady that he can’t offer the mildest of support for his golf buddy—and how close could they REALLY be? Does he ring up Trump at 3 a.m. to just say, “Don, you there? It’s Tom. Nothing, just wanted to talk. Lot on my mind”?—without it becoming a whole thing. We’re talking about a man whose whole life is a goddamn fairy tale. God forbid Brady be uncomfortable for half a second up on that podium when he’s just there to talk about football.
Even if it’s not exactly the most pressing issue in the world, though, people have every right to ask Brady about his ties to Trump, just as Brady has the right to evade them and people have the right to judge him for it if they feel like it. People like Dan Wetzel have come to the conclusion that this isn’t fair. Wetzel argues that grilling Brady about Trump is forcing political rancor upon a self-proclaimed non-political person:
Many Americans are exhausted just looking in on the clown show and uninterested in being labeled as an extremist by other extremists for not being extreme enough about whatever they deem extremely important.
I don’t know how Brady feels because like most political agnostics – or, you could say, independents – I’d never ask him because I have no interest in finding out.
It should be noted, again, that football fans only know how Brady feels specifically because he stuck a Donald Trump hat in his locker and then sang the praises of America’s Number One Prick when asked about it. It’s not right-wing thuggery if J.J. Watt wears a Bernie Sanders shirt to practice and then someone asks him if he’s a socialist. Brady opened the door.
As such, it’s not that extreme to have an interest in Brady’s political ties and pursue those ties. In fact, that’s a reporter’s job. People who cover and follow athletes get curious about all sorts of dumb, meaningless shit, because they want to know all they can about who these people are and how they think, no matter the subject. This little #trumpghazi episode may have been nearly as inane and pointless as the Ballghazi scandal that has hounded Brady for nearly a full year. But that doesn’t mean Brady deserves some magical force-field around him that requires every last person on earth to STICK TO SPORTS in his presence, especially if he wants that force field installed because the reaction to his initial, unprompted praise for Trump wasn’t to his liking.
Anyway, this whole episode actually has been telling. We now know more about the world’s greatest quarterback than we did before! Tom Brady apparently so treasures the occasional beauty pageant gig and the 18 holes he gets to play with Donald Trump on a bi-annual basis that he either deems it worth the risk to his own reputation to stand by Trump, or—more interestingly—never saw the risk to begin with. He wants to support Trump, but he also wants to stay out of the debate. He wants everyone to like him and to like the people he likes. We always knew he was dumb, but if he thought that was possible, it’s perfectly fair to say he’s an even bigger idiot than anyone realized.
GIF by Jim Cooke, image via Getty